Annual Tree Lighting Strengthens Sense of Community

by Joshua Manning – Staff Writer

The tradition of lighting the tree at the Don Henning roundabout in downtown Covington is an annual occurrence which seeks to bring together to the community of Covington through the topic of the Christmas Season. The event started at 4 PM with live music and a few scenes from “Scrooge, The Musical” as well as live caroling shortly after. Many Covington service clubs, as well as our very own Kentlake Key Club were present at the event to serve hot beverages such as cider and cocoa as well as cookies and other refreshments. In addition to the food, the City of Covington also had arts and crafts stations set up for ornament making.

The tree lighting itself took place around 6 PM which is when attendance to the event swelled the most. The big tree on the roundabout that the lighting used to happen on was notably cut down years ago but it has since been replaced with a smaller one for the lighting ceremony since the lighting is a tradition and it is the thing that the most people show up to on the day of the event. Many people when asked why they showed up to the lighting just simply said “out of tradition”, while others tended to expand on the ideas of community and how the event can fortify ties with other people you may not have met otherwise.

Although the event officially started at 4 PM, the Covington Kiwanis Club held a pancake breakfast, ran a craft bazaar, and facilitated a 5k event. These events were part of the Hollydaze Saturdays in December, which is also a tradition of Covington in which every Saturday before Christmas, special holiday events for the family are held. These events took place over the course of the whole day whereas the tree lighting started at 4 PM and ended at 6 PM. The Kiwanis Club also had their own booth and sold goods at the tree lighting as well to raise money for future events they will be holding as well as to raise money for the Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program for pediatric oncology.

Open hearts Big Dreams Fund Raises money for Education

by Madison Marko – Head Photographer

Nine-year-old Leyla Angelidis, daughter of math teacher Michael Angelidis, has inspired Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund—a fund that has raised about half a million dollars to benefit education in Ethiopia.

“We would have no other connection to Ethiopia if it wasn’t for Leyla. When we brought Leyla into our lives, we wanted to connect to her native country. We want her to have a sense of who she is and where she came from. This is all because of her,” Mr. Angelidis said.

The fund, a nonprofit, was founded by Michael’s wife, Ellenore Angelidis. It held its sixth fundraising gala on Dec. 9 at Hangar 30 in Magnusson Park. The gala featured silent and live auctions, a wine wall, and a raffle. Ethiopian food, art, and poetry were celebrated throughout the event. The Ethiopian Community Center Dancers performed a traditional Ethiopian dance. In total, the gala raised around $100,000.

The money will be divided to support the Early Reader Books Project, Technology and Coding Project, and Art Education Project. The Early Reader Books Project will continue to create Ready Set Go Books that have been translated into four Ethiopian languages. The books will be shipped by Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund to different libraries in Ethiopia.

For the Technology and Coding Project, the fund will work with another nonprofit, UCodeGirl, and support them as they bring more technology and coding to Ethiopia. Mrs. Angelidis is on the advisory board for UCodeGirl, and has been working on locating partners to collaborate with for the project.

The Art Education Project will work with artists and teachers to create curriculum for students to learn to create art that can be used for Ready Set Go Books. The artist will create art while they are in Ethiopia. The fund will sell this art to raise money to be able to provide classrooms with supplies to continue the programs throughout the year.

“The goal of the Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund is to continue to empower people through education. We believe that education is not a privilege, it is a right. You should be able to get educated no matter where you were born— whether that is in Ethiopia, or Kent, Washington, or Athens, Greece. Education is the most empowering thing for people,” Mr. Angelidis said.

Some of Mr. Angelidis’s students, as well as many Key Club members, stepped up to volunteer at the event. Leizllyn Nicolas (11), Key Club member and one of Mr. Angelidis’s calculus students, said, “Mr. Angelidis told our class about the fund, his adopted daughter, and how Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund has helped kids in Ethiopia. I knew I wanted to be a part of that. It was a new experience for me, and I loved seeing so many people come together to help raise money for the cause.”

Mr. Angelidis said, “I am Greek, my wife is Dutch, our boys are American, and our daughter is Ethiopian. We feel like we are more of a ‘world family’. It humbles us to see where we are and what other people are dealing with. Even in our worst days, there is a lot more suffering in the world. If we can make a small difference in somebody’s life, then we are grateful for that. We are all citizens of the world, and if we can help somebody, let’s help somebody.”

Cult Leader Charles Manson Dies at Age 83

by Jillian Felker – Entertainment Editor

Cult leader and notorious murderer of the 1960’s who frightened the entire U.S nation, Charles Manson, died on Nov. 19. Manson died while in a hospital in Kern County, Cal. from natural causes, after having been admitted several days beforehand.

After marrying several times and having one child, all resulting in divorce, and after being imprisoned due to petty crimes (soon released in 1967), Manson formed the cult known as the Manson Family, which later evolved to more than 100 members.

Cult formed due to a similar liking for hallucinogenic drugs, and non-conventional lifestyle, especially during The Summer of Love (1967). Within the cult was a small group of hard-core believers, very young women, who believed he was Jesus and his prophecies of a race war

After the formation of the cult, the particularly hard-core followers were those who were believed to have carried out about 35 killings, mostly led by Manson. The most famous one beginning with Roman Polanski, acclaimed movie director, and his wife, Sharon Tate, an actress well-known for her roles in films such as Valley of the Dolls, and modeling during the 1960’s.

On Aug. 9, 1969, the murder of Polanski and all of those staying in the house that Polanski was renting north of Beverly Hills, which included his eight-month pregnant wife, Tate, took place. While Manson was not directly present during the killings, he directed four of his most devoted followers to the address of the home and instructed them to kill everyone.

After murdering those in the Polanski home, the following night the followers went out to the home of a wealthy supermarket executive and his wife, in which they also murdered the couple in a similarly tragic fashion.

During the trials for the murders, which were started on suspicion of vandalism and evolved into a murder trial upon evidence, members of the Manson Family came forward to testify against Manson, and spoke on how he used them emotionally, mentally, and physically over time. During the trials, it was revealed that they had planned to also murder Elizabeth Taylor and husband Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Tom Jones. The celebrities chosen so that the murders committed would shock the world and make people take notice.

In Jan. of 1971, Manson was convicted of first degree murder for the direction of the past murders, taken place during the 1960’s, in which Manson was initially given the death sentence. Although Cal. supreme court repealed the death sentence in 1972, his sentence was then converted to life in prison. Within the past decades, Manson has been denied parole 12 times.

Senate Bill Aims to Expand Student Press Protections

by Nicholas Shepard – Web Editor

A new bill concerning our journalistic rights and continued excellence in the Falcon Flyer, WA Senate Bill 5604, is designed to protect and expand on the rights of school newspapers throughout the state. The bill was introduced by Democratic Floor Leader Senator Marko Liias of the 21rd legislative district on January 26, 2015 – yes, almost two years ago – and still, regardless of the benefits the bill would provide if signed into law, has stalled yet again.

The bill seeks to increase the power – but with it, the responsibility – of the students in charge of the paper. Under 5604, officials are permitted only to prohibit media that is considered libel or slander, as defined by the bill; an unwarranted invasion of privacy; obscene or indecent as defined by the federal communications act; or incites students to commit unlawful acts, violate school regulations, or cause material or substantial disruption of the operation of the school.

Political expression of students in their school papers is also clearly defined as not a use of public funds for political interests, in the bill, and any student or their parents can file complaints due to perceived violation of the aforementioned rights.

While 5604 did reach a vote and pass with a majority in the Washington State Senate on February 20, 2015, less than a month after introduction, but stalled at the caucus stage after a hearing before the House Education Committee. It has been repeatedly re-introduced and retained by resolution but so far hasn’t made significant progress.

Keystone Pipeline Causes Major Controversy

by Nolan James – Staff Writer

The construction of the Keystone Pipeline XL has caused much controversy in recent times. The Keystone Pipeline already has three major constructions, built by TransCanada, and a fourth has been in the works for many years now. The plans, passed by the House and Senate in 2015, was later vetoed by President Obama, and the Senate failed to override him. However, during his first few days of presidency, Donald Trump decided to go forward with the plans to build the fourth phase, the Keystone Pipeline XL.

The Keystone Pipeline XL is a proposed project for a 36-inch diameter crude oil pipeline extending from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska, according to TransCanada’s main website. There are many who oppose and many who support the construction of the pipeline, with arguments on both sides. The major group upset with the construction of the pipeline are environmentalists, who believe that the pipeline could potentially lead to much environmental damage and increased climate change.

The first issue environmentalists have is the potential spills of the pipeline. There are many different estimations for the potential spills, which include Dr. John Stanbury of the University of Nebraska, who estimates that the pipeline will have “91 significant spills over the pipeline’s operational lifetime” as opposed to TransCanada’s estimate of “11 significant spills […] over 50 years.”

Dr. Stanbury also claims that the potential damage on the surrounding areas could be devastating. “Contaminants from a release at the Missouri or Yellowstone River crossing would enter Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota where they would adversely affect drinking water intakes, aquatic wildlife, and recreation. Contaminants from a spill at the Platte River crossing would travel downstream unabated into the Missouri River for several hundred miles affecting drinking water intakes for hundreds of thousands of people […] as well as aquatic habitats and recreational activities.”

The second point of contention is global warming. Many environmentalists believe that the pipeline could potentially contribute to climate change and pollution. While even the existence of global warming and humans’ contributions are heavily debated topics, the government has concluded that the pipeline will have “carbon emissions (equal to) less than 1 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” according to the New York Times. However, when President Obama was considering the construction of the pipeline, the EPA concluded that “construction of the pipeline is projected to change the economics of oil sands development and result in increased oil sands production, and the accompanying greenhouse gas emissions, over what would otherwise occur.”

Environmentalists aren’t the only people upset by the potential construction of the pipeline, however. Many Native Americans protest the construction of the pipeline for its potential to leak into sacred territory. A few Native Americans have actively protested the construction of the pipeline. A story by the Huffington Post detailed the story of a group of Native Americans who set up teepees near the planned construction sites. They interviewed archaeological monitor Keith Fielder, who claimed that “the pipeline threatens culturally sacred lands.”

One of the major draws of the construction of Keystone Pipeline XL was the jobs it would create. TransCanada predicted that the construction of the pipeline would create 20,000 jobs – 13,000 in construction and 7,000 in manufacturing. However, the State Department has

estimated that only 3,900 jobs in manufacturing would be created, and that only 35 permanent jobs would ultimately be created, according to the New York Times.

Another obstacle has arisen in the construction of the pipeline. One of the other three constructions spilled, according to CNN, a total of 210 thousand gallons of oil. The pipeline was shut down immediately. Brian Walsh, who spoke on behalf of South Dakota’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, claimed that “there were no initial reports of the oil spill affecting waterways, water systems, or wildlife.”

The pipeline has generally been positively received by the public. Polls such as that of Washington Post, CBS, the Pew Center, and USA Today show that the public generally approves of the construction of the pipeline. However, the most recent survey by the Pew Center, taken in February of 2017, showed that its popularity has dropped, with 42% for and 48% against. The Keystone Pipeline XL has had a lot of obstacles preventing its construction, and much controversy surrounding it, so it still is undeterminable whether it will be built or not.

Pro vs. Con: “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

Nothing Wrong With the Holiday Classic

by Vitaliy Berezhnyy – Staff Writer

Alright, alright, alright, I get it. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is RAPEY. Harrumph. I feel an empty pit in my stomach: something does not seem right. I mean, it is an old song (written in 1944), and rape was accepted back then… gosh, that just does not seem right, either. This calls for a ‘putting on of the proverbial super-sleuth-glasses and a reaching for the cracked magnifying glass’—oh, how dusty the two are. Blow the dust, and begin.

This song is almost always performed with a man and a woman, and because that is how it was intended to be, I will refer to the two as such. Looking through the lyrics… I’ve got to say, there is nothing rapey that I can find. A man seduces a woman who is playing hard-to-get. That is what I see. I see the woman retaining a ladylike composure, concerned over what “the neighbors might think,” and oh, “There’s bound to be talk tomorrow,” but at the same time, she wants him to want her. ‘I do not want it to look like I am sleeping around (change), so you have to be the right guy. Convince me to stay.’ None of the excuses she gives has to do with what she thinks, only what others might think: her brother, her mother, her sister, and the list goes on; what she wants, and what others want, does not align. Everyone else wants her to come home, but she wants to stay.

Within the first two verses, she gives in a little to his pull (“…maybe just half a drink more.”) Boom. Bananas. Almost sounds like she’s interested in staying, eh? Shortly after that, she jokes, “Say, what’s in this drink?” Yes. Jokes. Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Dolly Parton, and countless other artists have covered this song: are all of them are pro-rape? No. Clearly, they got the joke, they got the meaning of the song—the subtle romantic overtones that manage to slip away from today’s politically-correct, rape-culture hunt. Bottom line, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is not rapey; it is a lovely look into a sophisticated, yet light, play of love that was once widely accepted as romance.

Baby, It’s Date Rape and Really Concerning

by Anna Hartman – Feature Editor

Picture this: It is a cold December night, snow is falling outside, and a man and a woman have enjoyed the evening together at his house. The woman is headed out for the evening, but the man tries to convince her to stay. Despite the woman, protests, the man is persistent and will not let her leave, as he makes advances on her without given consent and eventually end up slipping something into her drink to get her to stay.

In 2017, a story with this narrative would be quick to be called out for depicting sexual assault, or being generally demeaning to women, however, in 1944, this very narrative flew under the radar wrapped in a catchy little Christmas package known as Baby It’s Cold Outside.

The song in question has garnered much debate through the years, however, I believe that the song, although catchy, is extremely dated and worthy of an update due to its negative and concerning portrayals of women.

Its depiction of women within the song are congruent with the beliefs of the time, that women are nothing more than objects to be advanced on by men. This belief no longer aligns with the way that women are seen today. Today, women can be scientists, engineers, actors, and are free to make their own way in the world, and should not be reduced to such negative depictions any more.

One could defend the old tune by saying that they did not know any better at the time, as women had gained the right to vote only 24 years before the song was written, however, just because they did not know better then, does not mean that we do not know better now.

We should correct our actions by either updating the lyrics of the beloved Christmas carol so that it sounds less concerning in general, and indicates the woman giving consent, rather than having the advances of a man forced upon her. If this does not happen, however, given the current political climate, we as a society should at least recognize the negative light that this shines on women, and do everyone a favor and greatly reduce its radio air time.

There are many things about internalized misogyny and constructs of our society that we cannot change, however, a silly little Christmas song is something that we can. If we can make little changes like this in other facets of our society, we can make a step forward in achieving true equality for women.

Classical Music Wrongly Underappreciated by Youth

by Madison Marko – Head Photographer

With an entirely tasteless lack of drug references and an image riddled with “old dead guys”, it is not surprising that we don’t give classical music the time of day.

But we should.

According to a 2012 survey by the National Endowment for the Arts, older adults are the only demographic subgroup to show an increase in classical music performance attendance since 2002, while in all other demographics, including young people’s, these rates are shrinking. We need to step up and acknowledge classical music and its assets.

Oh, and just as a side note, I am using “classical music” as an umbrella term for the many different stylistic periods of classical music. For those of you that are well-versed in classical music, please do not come at me. Moving on.

When I was first introduced to classical music, I was sitting in the back of a family-friend’s car, staring out the window. We were driving down a windy road, and sunlight was streaming through the trees and into the vehicle. King FM was playing on the car radio, and I thought to myself, “Huh. This music is describing exactly how I am feeling, and what I am seeing, in this exact moment in time.”

With other types of music, you are fed someone else’s story and the feelings to go along with it. You are supposed to listen to them share their experiences, stick out your bottom lip in sympathy, and move on. You have no place in their ballads.

With classical music, you have the freedom to tie a piece to a moment in time, or a part of your life. Sure, the music you are hearing may have been born from a composer’s fit of wild rage, but it also has the capacity to describe the time you stayed up all night studying for a math test that you still managed to spectacularly fail the next day. You don’t get that much intellectual, emotional, and creative freedom with Taylor Swift, people.

Classical music also differs in the way that it does not shout dirty words into your ears, or subliminally suggest you do something you might regret. All it asks is for you give it a chance— to just sit down, appreciate, and contemplate, its artistry. You listen, and it has the practiced and honest confidence to give you nothing but its best. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by words of “do this”, oh, and also, while you are at it, you should really “do that”, classical music is a peaceful corner of the world that offers us space to breathe.

Tim Van Schenck, math teacher and classical music enthusiast said, “I love classical music— and one of my favorite things about it the variety of instruments that play. Everything

from the brass, to the percussion, to all the violins. They all fit together perfectly. I also like how classical music is structured. It is well organized and it helps me when I am studying, settling down, or just stressed.”

Please set aside your Lil Pump, your Post Malone, your Camila Cabello—just for a moment. Lay down, turn on 98.1 King FM, close your eyes, and drink in the indescribable passion, and occasional rage, of classical music.

Recommendations:

Jonathan Urmenita:

Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler

Symphony No. 4 by Johannes Brahms

String Quartet No.5 by Bela Bartok

Verklarte Nacht by Arnold Schoenberg

Star Wars (Score) by John Williams

The Hobbit (Score) by Howard Shore

Rebecca Auman (11):

Canon in D by Johann Pachebel

E Flat Suite by Gustav Holst

Tim Van Schenck:

Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Jolai Persinger:

Kiss the Rain by Yiruma

Lord of the Rings (Score) by Howard Shore

Scott Cleary:

Violin Concerto in A minor by Johann Sebastian Bach

I Vow to Thee, My Country by Gustav Holst

Amy Mitchell (12):

Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity by Gustav Holst

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

The Second Suite in F for Military Band (Op. 28, No. 2) by Gustav Holst

Raleigh Mostov:

Symphony No. 1 in D Major by Gustav Mahler

Danzon No. 2 by Arturo Marquez

Overture to Condide by Leonard Bernstein

Joseph Kommavongsa (10):

Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven

Prelude in A Major by Frederic Chopin

Sixth Symphony in B Minor by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Start Time a Blessing in Disguise

by Joshua Manning – Staff Writer

The new schedule has brought mixed reactions among students. As for myself, I think it is a step in the right direction for the way school should be scheduled. Most schoolwork, at least for me, is done at home so having two more hours to work at home every Wednesday helps a lot with the increasing homework level.

However, this schedule does have flaws. The most glaring problem is the fact that the late start day is on the same day as homeroom on the weeks we have it. The Wednesdays that have homeroom are often skipped due to them not being considered very important because every class is a mere thirty minutes minus the time it takes to get class started and pack up. The schedule is by no means perfect. Homeroom should be changed to another day of the week to accommodate this in my view.

However, the pros outweigh the cons for the new schedule. It makes school go longer, but only by five minutes, which is a miniscule amount when put in context of a six-hour school day. It allows for more time off school each week to help ease the flow of the average school week and helps with the increasing work load.

It is also admirable that the Kent School District is willing to experiment and try new things in terms of scheduling as opposed to just being formulaic and unwilling to improve. I think that change needs to be more welcomed as a concept in terms of education. I am not positing that every change is worthy of praise, but the concept of change needs to be less feared in the world of education. New ways of learning are being developed every day, one prominent one being the advent of technology, and because of this, much learning can be done outside of the classroom via the internet. Classroom teaching helps aid the learning process but much of the actual acquiring of information is done through the increasing homework load, so giving students more time off to better accommodate this shift in the way education is handled is definitely a positive one.

Mental Health a Prevailing Problem in Today’s Youth

by Cooper Lewis – Photographer

For young adults ages 15-24 suicide if the third leading cause of death, and for kids 10-14 it is the second. It is unbelievable that kids as young as ten want to kill themselves. Depression plays a huge role in this. 20% of teenagers are affected by depression and only 30% of them get treated for it. Now these numbers seem relatively low but in the case of death it is terrifying. Kids and teenagers are the key to our future.

Depression is a mental illness that can occur naturally but can also be caused by things such as family situations and social life however the most leading reason is drug addiction. While some people turn to drugs in times of depression (which just worsens the problem) certain substances such as alcohol and cigarettes have chemicals that when constantly taken in high doses can alter the chemicals in your brain. People who abuse these substances are six times more likely to commit suicide than non-drug users, and 90% of suicidal teens abuses some sort of substances.

The problem with suicide isn’t necessarily a substance its self but the addiction and the moderation the drug is taken in. Even without a mental illness drugs and alcohol are the second risk for suicide, depression and other mental illness being the first. The problem is that people are not getting treated for their problems. One in seven people become addicted to drugs but only one in ten get the treatment they need, it is the same with suicide (30% going untreated).

“If you only treat the depression without treating the chemical dependency, you will not be successful in really helping the person.” Dr. Jeffrey Bornestein says. The solution for depression is to treat it and promote awareness of depression and substance abuse. Signs of depressions are low self-esteem, sluggishness, disinterest of most things, lack of eating or sleeping and of course substance abuse. These are just a few signs of depression and if you or anybody you know show these signs seek help from a therapist or doctor or call a suicide hotline. (1-800-273-8255)

Net Neutrality Needed to Keep the Internet Going

by Jason Thiel – Staff Writer

Net Neutrality is something that sort of exists as a background mechanic of the internet age that prevents corporations from ripping off the working man in another way. Before now, many people didn’t know what net neutrality was or how it helped them. Now that the FCC is considering repealing it, it’s gaining interest throughout the country. Repealing such a crucial part of internet policy will lead to corporate greed running rampant online and when paying for internet service.

For those that do not know what net neutrality is, it’s a policy that runs behind the scenes on the internet that prevents corporations from tacking on extra charges to access domains, purchase and upgrade internet packages, and when creating domains. It says that there cannot be a pay wall acting as the only reason a person cannot access a website. It also mandates that internet service providers cannot tamper with your internet speed. This keeps the user in control of what they browse for and what they look at. In 2015, activists pressured the FCC to adopt many net neutrality rules that are now in jeopardy thanks to Trump’s new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai. On December 14, the FCC plans to vote to repeal the net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration. This is disgusting. In an already corporate-based world where big businesses are frequently allowed to cheat the people and the government, the Trump administration, and more specifically Ajit Pai, think that the next best step to “drain the swamp” is to provide corporations with another outlet to abuse the working class.

This administration’s mentality regarding corporations is so backwards, as they seem to talk about how greedy everyone is, and then just throw money and opportunity right into the pockets of corporate executives. Repealing net neutrality would do nothing less than allow them to dig further into the pockets of middle class Americans. People who just want to watch Youtube or Netflix, run a website for their small business, do their taxes, buy health insurance, any number of things people use the internet for in an affordable way. Small businesses will find that they won’t be able afford to pay for their domains, and they’ll have less outlets to advertise their businesses. Additionally, working families will have a hard time paying their internet bills, as corporations will be allowed to slow down their wi-fi speeds in order to force families to pay more for upgrades, causing many people to lose access to the internet and the plethora of information and resources it provides. Kids in school will find it harder to keep up with their work without internet access at home. It will increase the educational divide in this country, throwing more people in poverty back into poverty by further obstructing them from receiving an education comparable to those with more money.

The FCC’s disastrous plan to repeal Obama’s rules on net neutrality will cripple the middle class and destroy opportunities for families to experience the “American Dream”. Kids will find it harder to keep up, small businesses will take a huge hit, and families will lose an amenity that has become all but necessary, while big corporations will continue to thrive and increase their wealth even more than they already have. In a country where we already have massive wealth inequality, we cannot afford to pass more legislation that cripples the middle class.